Filmmaking Production Process
- Identifying audiences
- Script writing
- Creating shot list
- Organizing files
- Collecting media
- Shooting media
- Creating media
- Editing media
- Creating narration
- Creating & adding sound and music
4. CRITIQUE & REVISION
- Reviewing rough-cut
- Revising and editing
- Previewing final cut
Learn the Fundamentals of Filmmaking
Spending some time learning a few fundamentals of cinematography is worthwhile-- not only will it will improve both the media-making process and product, but it will also save you time in the long run. Here we will introduce you to the fundamental stages of the filmmaking process by taking you through making a short film, walking you through pre-production to production and post-production. This process will serve as an introduction to the key cinematic principles of storytelling, storyboarding, cinematography, and editing. All of these critical digital storytelling elements will help you build media literacy and digital storytelling skills, to help you begin using media arts as a teaching strategy in your classroom.
This exercise is courtesy of the SHIFT Curriculum (Spy Hop Institute for Teachers) and the Utah Film Center.
The traditional story arc is at the essence of almost all stories and the most common format used in filmmaking. Watch V4CUUM-RBT: A Love Story. Identify and discuss the three acts of the film: what happens in Act I, Act II, and Act III? See the video in the slider cards below.
Visual Storytelling, Shot Styles, and Composition
Learning visual storytelling techniques and employing a myriad of shot styles will play a big role in helping you tell your story, Filmmakers use different shots and camera movements to convey emotion and affect the way the audience thinks and feels about the subject.
Watch the Shot Styles and Composition instructional video and use the shot styles handout to practice. See the video and handout below.
Read the Nine Sentence Story written samples and use the template to write yours. We like the story prompt: You stumble upon a box. No matter what you use as your prompt, keep your story simple, and make sure your story can be filmed on location. See the Nine Sentence Story samples and template in the resources below.
Storyboarding and Cinematography with the Nine Sentence Story
You are now beginning the process of translating the written story to the screen. Watch the Storyboarding instructional video and the Nine Sentence Story movie samples. How does the storyboarded nine sentence story translate to the screen? Watch the second Nine Sentence Story movie samples clip and note any differences.
Download and print the storyboard PDF and storyboard your nine sentence story (aim for one storyboard per sentence, making nine storyboards total).
Make sure you fill out every line on your storyboards and if there is no dialogue or music in the scene, for example, mark n/a rather than leaving the line blank. If your students are doing this, make sure all students storyboard, whether each student does all nine or the storyboards are divided up amongst the group. Your role is Executive Producer and you will greenlight the storyboards before students go into production. Look for a clear three-act story, thoroughness, and varied shot styles.
Shooting, Collecting, and Creating Media
It's time to film your video. Before cutting loose into production, make sure you have established careful equipment checkout protocol. Each group of 3-4 needs a camera (or phone/iPad with a mount), tripod, external microphone if available and computer or device with video editing software) All students should clearly understand their roles (Producer, Director, Cinematographer) and responsibilities. For example, the Producer should have a folder with the storyboards and any shot lists to guide production, as well as a few release forms if there will be any interviews or outside people being filmed; the cinematographer has the equipment and will charge all equipment upon returning from the shoot, etc.
Editing, Exporting, and Exhibition
(Note: before beginning editing your footage, watch both the Editing Styles and Music instructional videos below.)
Now it's time to edit your footage in video editing software. Check out the recommended video editing software below and many of these come with built-in tutorials, or search for a highly-rated online tutorial. Also check out our curated list of copyright-free music, images, etc. by clicking here.
VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE
Tips for managing your media files and student release forms, and a rubric to assess the filmmaking elements and digital storytelling process.
Tips for Implementing Filmmaking Projects in the Classroom
Filmmaking Media Gallery
Use this selection of youth-produced, teacher-produced, and professional films to inspire both you and your students with ideas for your own film projects in the classroom.
VIDEO SCAVENGER HUNT
Technical Skill Building
POETRY IN MOTION
Technical Skill Building, Writing, Self-Exploration
WEAVERS AND THREADERS
Technical Skill Building, Collaboration, Storytelling
CLASSROOM EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
This list is meant to guide you, though you will still need to decide what is best for you. There is no "blanket best" as everyone is working with different budgets and computer equipment. This equipment list is linked to sellers, but we suggest shopping around and exploring educational pricing discounts. Check out this Filmmaking Go Kit if you want everything to fit in one tidy, mobile case. (Total cost of the Go Kit including case is about $1200).